Feb 7, 2013 2:00am PST
military operations. the pentagon says it will reduce the naval presence in the persian gulf. plans for the uss harry truman carrier to head to the gulf this week have been canceled. that would leave one carrier in the region. defense secretary leon panetta warns under the cuts pentagon workers could face furloughs saying, this is not a game this is reality. >>> vice president joe biden made an emotional appeal to house democrats last night urging them to support the obama administration's gun control agenda. biden choked up while speaking about the recent tragedy at sandy hook and recounted examples of 1600 deaths since that day. his tone turned emphatic reminding audience as their obligation as lawmakers to act. >> when people tell me that you can't prevent these kinds of occurrences, that doesn't mean we can't do something to god forbid if it happens again diminish the carnage. it matters. it matters. >> speaking to those worried about the political consequences of backing controversial gun legislation, biden argued "i promise you, times have changed." >>> new jersey governor chr
Feb 7, 2013 3:00am PST
them to be moved from the cia back to the pentagon. but the fact is that there has been something like a 700% increase in the use of drones under president obama as compared to george w. bush. >> and andrea, as you know, from your sources at the agency and i know from my sources not only from the agency but in the entire intelligence community when barack obama came into office, they specifically said, they wanted to ramp up drone operations. and they wanted there to be a side-by-side comparison of how many strikes bush did versus how many strikes they did. for brennan to say that he wants to pull back on drone strikes, that's just -- that's just not accurate. and that's not what's been happening since january 20th, 2009. you can go back. and when the history is written, you will go back to january 20th, 2009, and see a very deliberate -- >> executive orders. >> executive orders. and again, i think most americans probably support this policy. so it's not like i'm talking about anything that's going to be scandalous. most people will support the president doing this. but it obviously ca
Feb 7, 2013 2:30am PST
in congress who have done little to avoid the across the board spepdinding cuts that will slash the pentagon budget. >> this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe. this is no way to govern the united states of america. this budgetary crisis creates uncertainty. it creates doubt and most importantly from my point of view, it undermines the men and women in uniform who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect this country. >> those planned budget cuts are part of the sequestration deal agreed to by congress as part of annest to force compromise on the national debt. house speaker john boehner says although he opposes the automatic cuts, republicans are not willing to back a plan that involves new tax revenue as the president has called for. >> i don't like the sequester. i think it's taking a meat ax to our government. a meat ax to many programs and it will weaken our national defense. now that's why i f
Feb 7, 2013 7:00am PST
to most americans has really grown exponentially. ten years ago the pentagon had 50 drones. today it's 7,500. a third of the air force's fleet unmanned. u.s. military carried out 447 drone attacks in afghanistan in the first 11 months in 2012. 294 total in all of 2011. what's behind this drone explosion, if you will? >> well, i think that drones are sort of irresistible for a policymaker, for a president who is worried about protecting the country but also, you know, a president who in many ways was formed politically by the experiences in iraq and afghanistan, at least as far as his foreign policy views, who doesn't want to see dangerous, costly, bloody military entanglements in far away nations. drones are surgical. they're cheap. you can have a pretty high degree of accuracy. it is true that there have been numerous civilian casualties, but relative to any other technology we have short of sending in, you know, an assassin with a sniper rifle which in many cases just isn't practical, drones are the best way to sort of take the enemy off the battlefield. they don't cost a lot of money.
Feb 7, 2013 9:00am PST
400 drone strikes in pakistan, yemen, and monthlia, while the pentagon drone fleet has expanded from 50 to 7,500. for the past decade american drone policy has existed largely in the shadows. its legal just ficks and moral underpinnings largely relegated to debate among progress severe media outlets and concerned libertarians. now as john brennan, the architect of the u.s. drone policy and president obama's mick to head the cia readies to testify this afternoon on capitol hill, calls for greater transparency and legal justification for the killings have increased. the outcry reached a crescendo on monday when nbc's michael isikoff obtained a leaked white pair from the government suggesting that the u.s. government can kill american set zenz overseas without any specific intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the u.s. the expansive legal framework set off alarm bells. >> every american has the right to know when their government believes it's allowed to kill them. i don't think that as one person said, that is too much to ask. >> the "new york times" wrot
Feb 7, 2013 10:00am PST
on defense. the pentagon's top brass pushed back on questions about the military response in benghazi. >> are you surprised that the president of the united states never called you secretary panetta, and says how is it going? >> you know, normally in these situations -- >> did he know the level of threat that -- >> let me finish the answer. we were deploying the forces. he knew we were deploying the forces. he was being kept -- >> i hate to intript you, but i have limited time. we didn't deploy any forces. >> it was over by the time -- >> mr. secretary, you didn't know how long the attack would last. did you ever call him and say, mr. president, it looks like we don't have anything to get there any time soon? >> the event was over before -- >> it lasted almost eight hours, and my question to you is during that eight-hour period did the president show any curiosity about how is this going, what kind of assets do you have helping these people? did he ever make that phone call? >> look, there is no question in my mind the president of the united states was concerned about american lives.
Feb 7, 2013 2:00pm PST
. the senate armed services committee was supposed to vote today on hagel's nomination to head the pentagon, but that vote has been postponed after republicans said they hadn't received sufficient information about hagel's financial records and specifically about any payments he's received from foreign sources. that's an odd hurdle given that republicans never seem concerned about foreign revenue sources when it came to nominees from george w. bush. one democratic official working on the hagel nomination told politico, quote, what they're asking is unprecedented, and it's clear that it's information that he's unable to provide. hagel says he can't provide it because it would violate confidentiality of the boards that he serves on. of course, critics say this is about more than incomplete financial records. so why are republicans really holding up hagel's nomination? aaron david miller is vice president for new initiatives at the woodrow wilson center. he has served as an adviser on the middle east to both democratic and republican secretaries of state. and joe klein is a columnist for "time